Monday, March 27, 2017

Radiate by Marley Gibson

Radiate is an inspirational YA realistic fiction book about never giving up and the power of positive thinking. Hayley was in band, but senior year she decided she wanted more with her life. Hayley wanted to stand out and be something important. So, Hayley tries out for cheerleading, and makes it! She pushes herself hard to be the best she can possibly be. Soon, she notices that her left leg is bothering her. She ignores it, until one day she has a painful bump on her leg. She goes to the doctor and is informed that she has osteosarcoma. She has malignant cancer. She could lose her leg, even lose her life. But Hayley stays positive. She never loses hope and stays strong and brave. Hayley will not let cancer strip her from her dreams, no matter what. She is determined to fight and most importantly, cheer. 

Hayley is one of the most inspirational characters I have ever encountered! She took the awful thing given to her and turned it into strength. She used cheerleading and her positive thinking to beat the cancer. She had a possibility of losing her leg, but she never let that push her down. There are a lot of generalizations about cheerleaders in the world, and Hayley showed that there is more to being a cheerleader than meets the eye. She showed how hard the sport actually is. There are a lot of controversies and generalizations about cheerleading and cheerleaders, but Radiate proved them wrong. 

Radiate also showcased problems in society with acceptance. It showed the importance in being who you are, and not caring what others think about you. The author was very descriptive about the cancer and used medical terminology that I now know. The book is educational in learning about cancer. This is also the type of story that teaches about being thankful for what you have. Gabriel was the sweetest guy. Any person would be lucky to know him. 

I loved the section in the back of the book called A Mother’s Perspective. It told the true story that was the motivation for writing the book. I love Radiate even more now that I know it is based off of a true story. I loved the romance in the book, and the love triangle added so much to the book. There were a lot of different plot lines in the story, and they blended and intersected nicely. 

Radiate is a story of friendship and positivity, a book about not giving up a fight. This book is about faith, love and family, and teaches to radiate. I highly recommend that you read this book!

Title: Radiate
Author: Marley Gibson
Publisher: Graphia
Pages: 395
Series: No
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Winds of Power: The Sleeper Prophecy by Robert Drummond

I was intrigued when the author contacted me to be one of the first to review this YA science fiction e-book, which he self-published. When a blue-violet star in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy died, its solar winds reached Earth. These winds interacted with the DNA of four teens and triggered special powers. Seven other planets in the Milky Way make up the Galactic Alliance that ensures peace. In order to have a better relationship between the Alliance and Earth, they take the four teens into space to learn how to use their abilities. However, there is also an evil threat to the alliance planets, and these teens might just be the advantage that they need. 

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, especially the imagery. I could picture what every alien looked like. I had a clear image in my head of all the characters and their surroundings throughout the story. I felt like I was in the room with Aiden and watching the events unfold. The four teens were like a family to each other. They supported each other and trusted each other. The relationships between the characters were a strong point for The Winds of Power

Something I enjoyed was that the four teens did not get too carried away with their powers, especially Aiden. Being the most powerful of all of them, he still focused on his brother Drew and his aunt Del. A lot of leaders abuse their powers, but Aiden stayed true to being human and focused on helping others. The love and concern for his brother was a huge element to the book. Readers cannot go a single chapter without realizing how much family was a value to him. I loved reading Aiden’s emotions. They were so strong that readers can physically feel them, too. 

I have to give credit to the author for the amazing names of the aliens. I know that I could have never come up with anything better. I asked Mr. Drummond how he picked the interesting names and he said, “I picked the names of the aliens using an Australian map, and picked names of roads, towns, bridges etc that I thought matched their characters.” 

Another thing I noticed was that the title of the book is an exact description of the book and fits the subject matter perfectly, which is not often the case with books. Personally, I really love when the cover and title match what I am reading. They just tie everything together. I also like how the cover is not too crazy or crowded. Sometimes less is more, and in this case I think the cover could not have been done any better. 

The part that I would change or recommend to be different is right at the beginning. I felt that it could have been more developed before the aliens and special powers happened. I also would have liked a little more of an initial shock of the fact that aliens actually exist. 

I recommend that you read this book! I can't wait to read the next book, The Winds of Power: Return of the Ancients.

Title: The Winds of Power: The Sleeper Prophecy
Author: Robert Drummond 
Publisher: Self-published (Robert Drummond) 
Pages: 247 Pages
Series: Yes
Rating: 4 Stars

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Year of Lightning (The Time Shift Trilogy Book 1) By Ryan Dalton

I received this science fiction mystery book for free from the publisher (Jolly Fish Press) in exchange for an honest review. I was so excited when the publisher contacted me because I already had this teen sci-fi trilogy on my to-read list.
After Malcolm and Valentine’s mother died, they moved in with their grandmother. Shortly after moving, the 15-year-old twins notice something strange about the house across the street. It has no doors and no windows. As if that is not strange enough, strange lighting storms happen all over the town that keep getting worse and more intense. When the kids start investigating, they find a shocking connection between the house and the storms. Malcolm and Valentine’s curiosity turns into something far more dangerous. Armed with a time traveling watch, the kids must stop what is happening inside the house before the city is destroyed. 

The Year of Lightning did a good job at being unpredictable. I was surprised at many of the major events that happened. This book had a lot of mystery elements to it. This is one of very few mystery books that I have read that I could not guess what is going to happen. I was on the edge of my seat. There is so much action and adventure. As you progress to the end, there are more fights, drama and surprise. 

The plot speed was perfect. It started slow and then gradually got faster until the climax. The plot was also chaotic with a lot of things happening at once. In general The Year of Lightning moved pretty fast, but in this case it was the appropriate speed given the time travel. 

Some of the names of the characters fit them perfectly. Valentine was the only main character to be in a romantic relationship. Another character was Winter. She can be cold at times and stubborn, but fun to be around. That is a close description of the season of winter. The names helped characterize the characters. These four friends are all 15 years old and in ninth grade. It was impressive that these kids were only freshmen in high school and were saving the world and traveling through time. They had a heavy burden to carry, but fortunately they were a mature group for their age. 

However, I would say that at times the book was hard to follow. Near the end with all the action and fighting, there would be a lot of time travel, and sometimes I had to go back to figure out what era they were in. At times, it was hard to follow what the characters were going to do and what their plan would be. 

While the reading level is middle grade, this is an enjoyable book for all ages! I cannot wait to read the next book in this trilogy, The Black Tempest, which will be released in April 2017.

Title: The Year of Lightning
Author: Ryan Dalton
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Pages: 320
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 4 Stars
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